Robbins Predicts Moderate Year For U.S. Economy

Friday, February 07, 2014

CEO of Robbins Capital Management and former New York investment banker Bob Robbins gave a market forecast to the Chattanooga Civitan Club and predicted a moderate year for the United States economy. He said he expected growth of approximately six percent.


He said currently the country is in a super bull market, which is a period of three years or longer where the market goes up more than usual.


However, he warned that markets are most successful in countries with the highest amount of economic freedom and the United States has fallen behind countries such as Hong Kong, Switzerland, Canada and Denmark in the past decades.


Economic freedom is defined as the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. It means each individual is free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way he or she pleases. North Korea ranks last in the world, the speaker said.


He said countries with higher economic freedom have higher average income, higher life expectancy, higher literacy, and less corruption and political violence.


Mr. Robbins said government spending and regulations have weighed down the United States economy. He said, "It's crowding out private enterprise."


He told the members of the Civitan Club that, while government spending can temporarily boost the economy, it does not help it in the long term. He said government spending at any level - local, state, or federal - creates a lower GDP as it increased, and that "voluminous research shows that excessive government spending is harmful."


He also said states with a statewide income tax fared worse financially than states without it, with states using a progressive tax system faring the worst. He showed a map of states ranked by fiscal condition. California, Illinois, and Massachusetts were some of the worst while Tennessee was near the top.


He said, "The more progressive the state income tax, the more self-defeating it is. It slows their growth."


Mr. Robbins also said government welfare programs had provided a disincentive to work and help the economy grow. In 35 states, welfare pays more than minimum wage and in 13 states, it pays over $15 per hour.


Mr. Robbins answered questions after he gave his analysis. When asked about his favorite stocks to invest in, he suggested stocks in the financial sector. He said since they took such a hit during the recession, many are now going upward again. He also suggested stocks in the technology and healthcare sectors.


When asked about gold, he said he did not recommend investing in it because its value had already peaked. He also said he did not recommend investing in bitcoin.


La-Z-Boy Receives Commissioner's Award Of Excellence For Safety, Health

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced that La-Z-Boy, Inc. located in Dayton was chosen to receive the Commissioner’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety and Health.  "La-Z-Boy, Inc. has demonstrated strong commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace," said Commissioner Phillips, who presented the award ... (click for more)

Community Support Needed For Local Food Banks

Local food banks are preparing for the upcoming school year and the fight against childhood hunger. BI-LO has launched the Summer Backpack Hunger Relief Program in all stores to help children who don’t know from where their next meal will come from.  Customers are encouraged to donate at any store register through August 19 to help provide meals for healthy minds and bodies ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Requests For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (3)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)